Business in São Paulo, Brazil. A look into social entrepreneurship

3 minute read

Brazil, a closer look at the contrast in São Paulo

As the B of the BRICS acronym's for promising economies...

Beaming with a promising population and resource-rich country but plagued with political issues. Sáo Paolo is one of the wealthiest and most populated city's in South America. 

A city with immense talents spanning across music, arts, architectures and bustling streets, it's the home of the Bossa Nova jazz, touristic graffiti-filled Batman Alley; one of most famous museos in the world. The São Paolo museum of Arts has Volpi's artistry, and alternatively eye-catching and head-turning depiction paintings. The bustling street like Avenida Paulista, as glorious bright city lights and neon-filled São Paulo Cidade Mall as seen in the early 70 and 80s.

A colourful city filled with numerous cultural institutions, a rich architectural tradition. Its iconic buildings range from its neo-Gothic cathedral and the 1929 Martinelli skyscraper, not to mention the modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer’s curvy Edificios Copan that was built in 1961.

In collaboration with the Fundação Dom Cabral, Saïd Business School and the University of Oxford organised a study trip to São Paolo analysing the Rules of Global Games at Brazil. We were able to scrutinise macro-economics, consumer insights, risks, social enterprises and solutions to some of the world's problems.

Brazil is a country with a population of 210 million people. It has the largest wealth-poverty gap as indicated by Oxfam's inequality index. Despite this, the six richest men in Brazil equal the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the population; that is the equivalence of 100 million people.


Residents in Favela don't have access to jobs, bank accounts or delivery services. Even e-commerce and food delivery services decline to deliver to these high-risk districts.

The image is clear, the contrast between the luxury condominium that each have individual balconies adorned with swimming pools are flanked by the Favela slums; a series of self-fabricated accommodation quadrants that are separated by a wall.


Undeterred by inequality, the social enterprise G10 Favelas ( was created as a self help community for job creation and skills upgrading. The enterprise offers skills in agricultural farming, food catering, hairdressing, logistics and delivery at favela. All of this action has been established to encourage entrepreneurship and even offer favela's own banking facilities. In their words, the favela understands the district's need for delivery, because the people living in the favela know, those who are bankable with good credit.

Without the access to training, no one would gain access to employment, and fail to qualify an ownership of a bank account without a salary - this enterprise offers a solution to that, allowing people in the favela to finally gain financial independence, improving their lives as a collective!

The trip was inspirational, highlighting the importance and impact of the social enterprise.

It is always in the darkest areas that mankind unleashes it's potential to shine the brightest!